Agnieszka Zogata-Kusz, Pavel Navratil, Tatiana Matulayova
OBJECTIVES: Political practice is an integral part of social work but in the Czech Republic this field seems less established. The aim of the study is to answer the questions on whether social workers consider policy practice as part of their profession; whether they involve themselves in it; and if not, for which reasons. THEORETICAL BASE: The question is viewed in terms of a global definition of social work and theories related to the clients’ environments. METHODS: The study design relies on a quantitative strategy. An exploratory method was chosen and data collection was done through a questionnaire that was available to respondents electronically (CAWI method). A total of 689 valid questionnaires were obtained. OUTCOMES: The most significant finding is that up to 65% of social workers have not been involved in influencing systemic change in the last five years, and up to 40% of them pointed to a lack of knowledge and skills as the main reason. The research findings are discussed in the context of OECD data on Czechs’ senses of internal and external political efficacy. These give room for some optimism about political practice in Czech social work. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: The most important recommendation for educators is to develop social work students’ professional competencies that will enable them to engage in policy practice actively.
policy practice, policy advocacy, rights enforcement, political engagement, macropractice, education
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